Already a new catch-and-release pike record

(Minnesota DNR)

Minnesota anglers looking to catch a state record northern pike now have a new mark to beat after angler Matthew Swanson of Woodbury caught a 45-1/4-inch pike on the Rainy River.

The record surpasses the first-ever record set in early October, when Maddy Ogg caught and released a 43-1/2-inch pike from Mille Lacs. However, Swanson reeled in his pike five months earlier – in May. The DNR received Swanson’s application on Oct. 29 and certified the fish soon after.

Swanson was on an annual Rainy River pike fishing trip with his dad and brother. Swanson reported that after three days of fishing, he had not landed any large pike, but his dad and brother had caught several over 30 inches. His father fishes spring pike with streamer flies on 30-pound test wire line. Using his dad’s setup, Swanson took a few casts before the big pike hit.

“Because this was to date my first and only pike on a fly, it was a very memorable experience,” Swanson said.

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